What makes a Hero? African Community Theatre presents special engagement of Carolyn Gage's "Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist". | Department of Pan-African Studies | Kent State University

What makes a Hero? African Community Theatre presents special engagement of Carolyn Gage's "Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist".

Kent State Department of Pan-African Studies offers provocative presentation of "Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist".

Harriet Tubman, a single woman with the valor, not only to save herself, but to consciously put herself in danger to do the same for others. With empowerment, strength, intelligence,defiance, faith, and determination in her heart she has become a hero to our nation; not because she is superhuman, but because she helped preserve humanity.  On April 8, 2016, as part of a special engagement during the Africa and the Global Atlantic World Conference, the African Community Theatre at Kent State University seeks to bring her story into your hearts by presenting Harriet Tubman Visits the Therapist, playwright Carolyn Gage’s exciting look into the mind behind the hero. Director Eileen Larson, of the Kent State Trumbull Campus, works with a double cast to give life to the powerful words written by Gage.

The cast consist of all Kent State students including; Chantrell Lewis, Dara Sherman, Sydney Smith and Montria Walker. This play is a must see! It has been reviewed as being "… marked with originality and cleverness as well as thoughtfulness in both conception and execution... In a time in our society when slavery and its sustaining effects are never acknowledged and outright denied, it is good to read a contemporary version of the classic freedom fighter— Harriet Tubman” says Aishah Rahman, playwright and Associate Professor in Brown University’s Creative Writing Program.

During the play, Gage embarks on a mission of discovery that begins with the ideas of a “superwoman” complex, family, and faith. She tackles the idea that all women that are successful, resilient, courageous, and heroic are not necessarily, born that way. She believes in the growth of an individual from personal experience, this theory definitely shines through in her rendition of Harriet Tubman in the play.  Gage explains that behind Harriet Tubman’s success was a strong family background. She clarifies that, although Harriet traumatically loses her sisters during her childhood, her mother’s nurturing care helped to create Harriet’s values, as it pertained to her life worth. In addition, the trauma of losing her sister pushed Harriet to be resilient when faced with unimaginable obstacles. Gage also expresses how important spirituality and faith were to Harriet.

 According to Gage, “Tubman had a radical faith, a militant one. And it was filled with superhuman deities who looked like herself: African women. Perhaps it was ancestor worship. Her goddesses did not pray, did not counsel meekness, did not talk about a “hereafter,” did not accommodate the white agenda. Tubman’s spirituality did not divide her against herself. It spoke directly to her deepest needs and it sprang from her integrity as an African American woman.”

Harriet Tubman Visits the Therapist runs in the Department of Pan-African Studies’ African Community Theatre April 8, 2016 at 7 p.m. For a complete schedule of the African Community Theatre please visit www.kent.edu/pas/african-community-theater  Media contacts: Denise Harrison 330-672-2300 or email:dpas@kent.edu

POSTED: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 10:12am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 5:29pm